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Aviation Day Rides

For the fifth year in a row, Flying M Air is pleased to be offering “hop rides” at the Aviation Day Event on Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 9 AM to 3 PM at Wenatchee Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee.

Our Helicopter in Flight

This year we’ll have three helicopters on the flight line with experienced pilots ready to take passengers on a tour of the Wenatchee area. Rides will depart the airport and then head straight out along Grant Road to the Columbia River. You tell your pilot where you want to go from there: up river as far as the Wenatchee River Confluence or down river to Malaga. From there, it’s back to the airport for the conclusion of the ride.

Rides are $40 per person. We accept cash and credit card at the event or you can pre-purchase your ticket online in our online store.

We can take up to 3 passengers per flight, but weight limits apply. There is a per seat weight limit of 275 pounds, which is strictly enforced for safety reasons.

With three helicopters on the line this year, we’re hoping to keep wait times short. Bring the family! This is a great event for all ages, which plenty of other things to do and see at the airport. Learn more here.

Want to get an idea of what you might expect? Check out this fun video from a flight last year:

This offer expires at 4:00pm on Saturday June 17th, 2017.

Father’s Day Special: 1/2 Hour Dam-to-Dam Tour

Flying M Air is pleased to offer a special 30-minute tour for Father’s Day.

Take the father in your life on a flight he’ll remember for a long time. From Wenatchee Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee, we’ll head to the Columbia River and follow it up to the Rocky Reach Dam, then turn around and follow the river back down to the Rock Island Dam. Along the way, you’ll have amazing views of East Wenatchee, Wenatchee, the Wenatchee River confluence, Malaga, both dams, and numerous parks and other points of interest. Treat Dad to a new perspective of Wenatchee!

FathersDayDad.png

Each flight accommodates up to 3 passengers for a 30-minute flight. Weight limits apply: no passenger can weigh more than 275 and total passenger weight cannot exceed 600 pounds. All flights originate at the General Aviation Terminal at Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee.

This is a special offer 30-minute tour just for Father’s Day, June 18, 2017. (Normally our tours have a 1-hour minimum.)

Availability is limited. To book your flight give us a call at 509/699-8044 or visit our online store. We’re available during regular business hours to answer questions and book other flights, including Winery Trips and longer tours.

This offer expires at 6:00pm on Saturday June 17th, 2017.

Rate Change for Air Taxi Flights

Due to a recent requirement by the FAA for Flying M Air to install a radio altimeter for all Part 135 charter flights, Flying M Air has been forced to raise rates for these flights.

Radio Altimeter Requirement

A radio (or radar) altimeter is a piece of electronics equipment that uses radio waves to calculate the exact distance from the ground. It utilizes two antennas — one to transmit and one to receive the signal — that must be mounted at the bottom of the aircraft, as well as a component that interprets this information. Another piece of equipment provides a readout with audible warning system for the pilot and must be mounted with a special bracket on the helicopter’s panel since our panel is already full of instruments and there is no room for the readout.

If you think this is as unfair as we do, we urge you to contact your member of Congress. Ask them why a small business should be forced by U.S. regulations to buy a costly piece of equipment that won’t make its operations any better or safer. If you get an answer that makes sense, we’d love to hear it.

It’s important to note that Flying M Air is a VFR-only operation. That means we are only allowed to fly when visibility meets or exceeds minimums established by the FAA for the airspace we’re in. We have no real need for this new instrument because we can always see the ground in flight. Because of this, we consider the FAA’s radar altimeter requirement for VFR-only operators like us unreasonable. We have tried several times to get a waiver of this requirement, which is allowed by the new rule. But as many of us know, the government isn’t always reasonable and this time, we’re required to pay the price.

At this point, the equipment has not yet been installed. We’re in the process of locating an avionics shop that can do the work timely at a good price. So far, cost estimates for this equipment range from $13,500 to $20,000 and it will take a full week to install. With cherry season approaching quickly, we cannot take the helicopter offline for installation until after August. The FAA tells us that if we provide evidence that we’ve ordered the equipment and scheduled an installation, they will grant a temporary waiver to allow us to continue flying Part 135 flights. We’re working to comply.

What this Means to You

Part 135 covers any flight that transports a passenger to a different location from a starting point as well as flights over 25 statute miles from the starting point. This includes all air taxi flights and tours beyond a 25-mile radius from the starting point.

How does this affect our clients? Since the equipment is not required for anything other than Part 135 flights, we see no reason to pass the costs on to our aerial photo, aerial survey, Part 91 LOA tour, or agricultural services clients, since none of the flights we conduct for them are done under Part 135. Instead, we’ve decided to recoup some of the expenses for this equipment by charging a $25 landing fee for each landing done as part of a Part 135 flight.

So, for example, if you book a one-way flight to Cave B Inn, you’d pay our normal $545/hour rate plus a $25 landing fee. If you book a wine tasting flight to Tsillan Cellars, a total of $50 ($25 per landing) would be included in the new tour fee of $595. If you book a custom air-taxi flight, you’ll pay our normal $545/hour rate plus $25 for each landing we make with you on board.

Although we really don’t want to change our rates, Flying M Air already operates on very slim margins. Without this price increase, the cost of the altimeter would be a severe blow to our bottom line in a year when we’re still reeling from the financial effects of a $219,000 overhaul. Simply said, we can’t afford to absorb this cost on our own and must pass it on to the clients who “benefit” from it.

Adventure Flight Offer: Sacramento to Wenatchee

Flying M Air will be repositioning its helicopter from the Sacramento area to Wenatchee, WA on Sunday, April 23. We can take up to two passengers with limited luggage on this 5-8 hour cross country flight.

In an effort to fill these seats, we’re offering them at a deep discount of $250/hour for one or two people (not per person) — that’s about 55% off our usual rates.

We’ll let you pick the route — weather permitting:

  • Go the fastest, most direct route. That’ll take 5-6 hours, with two stops for fuel along the way. We’ll leave the Sacramento area northbound, flying up California’s Central Valley over orchards and rice fields as we criss-cross the Sacramento River. We’ll pass on the east side of Mount Shasta and continue on the east side of the Southern Cascades in Oregon, past cinder cones, dry lake beds, lava fields, winding rivers, and wind farms. We’ll cross the Columbia River near the John Day Dam, overfly Yakima, and cut nearly due north to Wenatchee. Approximate cost for two people: $1,250 to $1,500.
  • The Oregon Coast with a Marine Layer drifting in.

    Go a more scenic route along the California and Oregon coasts. That’ll take 7-8 hours, with two stops for fuel along the way. We’ll leave the Sacramento area northwest bound, overfly Lake Berryessa and Napa and Sonoma Valleys, and join up with the coast near the mouth of the Russian River. Then we’ll follow the coast northbound as far as Tillamook, OR. From there, we’ll head northeast, crossing the Cascade Mountains between Mount Rainier and Mt. St. Helens on a beeline to Wenatchee. Note that this route is weather-dependent and may need to be changed enroute if weather conditions deteriorate. Approximate cost for two people: $1,750 to $2,000.

Trip includes:

  • One-way helicopter transportation as described above for one or two people with limited luggage.
  • One copy of Robbie: The Robinson Helicopter Experience coffee table book, which features Flying M Air.
  • One Flying M Air hat for each passenger.
  • An experience you’ll never forget!

Trip does not include:

  • Flight to Sacramento Airport or from Wenatchee Airport.
  • Ground transportation to/from airports.
  • Meals.
  • Overnight accommodations before or after the flight or during the flight if weather delays are encountered.

This is an incredible opportunity for a helicopter adventure you’ll remember forever. What are you waiting for? Book this flight now.

This offer expires at 9:00am on Thursday April 20th, 2017.

Holiday Gift Certificates Available Online

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who has everything, a Flying M Air gift certificate might be the answer. And this year, they’re available for your convenience 24/7 via online purchase.

Rocky Reach Dam

Flying M Air offers gift certificates for all of its tours, day trips, multi-day excursions, and event rides. We also offer gift certificates for specific dollar amounts that can be applied to any Flying M Air service.

Learn more about how our gift certificates work.

Shop in our online store now.

Closed for the 2016 Season

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Flying M Air is now closed for the 2016 season.

At Martin-Scott

Some of our existing clients may know that our helicopter had to go in for overhaul on or before January 2017. We dropped it off early to ensure that we get it back by February for our 2017 frost season contract in central California. We expect to have it back in the Wenatchee area in April, in plenty of time for all of our cherry drying contracts.

Keep watching this space for updates about our return, as well as special offer flights to reposition the helicopter from Phoenix to Sacramento in February and Sacramento to Wenatchee in April. We’re also hoping to announce the return of our Wenatchee-area wine tasting flights, perhaps with a few new winery destinations!

We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our 2016 clients — as well as those who have flown with us since the helicopter was brand new way back in 2005 — for your continued support. We look forward to serving many of you again in the coming years with a like-new helicopter fresh from overhaul!

Gallery: Wenatchee to Phoenix Flight

Here’s a handful of nosecam images from our October 2016 helicopter flight from Wenatchee WA to Phoenix AZ. As usual, these photos are not cropped or retouched.

It was a great trip with decent weather once we got out of Central Washington. We’d originally planned a route through California, but high winds along our planned route — including gusty headwinds in excess of 25 knots — prompted us to reroute through Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. Due to the nature of the flight — delivering a helicopter for overhaul — we stayed close to populated areas or at least roads. In several cases on the first day, we flew through an area right after a storm had passed through. We hit some rain, but visibility was never an issue. Weather the second day was even better, especially in southern Utah and Arizona, as you might expect. In all, it was a relatively routine ferry flight.

The nosecam captured over 200 aerial images. These are the ones we think are the best. These photos are available for sale as prints; please contact us for details.

And please do keep in mind that the helicopter eventually needs to make its way back to Wenatchee. You can be the front seat passenger for our next flight! Subscribe to our special offers to be notified when long flights like this are available at deep discounts.

Crush Season 2016 Winery Tour — Save $75!

From now through October 25, Flying M Air is pleased to offer a discount of $75 off wine tasting flights to Tsillan Cellars Winery in Chelan or Cave B Estate Winery in Quincy.

CaveBTasting

This is your chance to enjoy a scenic flight in the Wenatchee Valley area, as the trees in orchards and beyond turn bright shades of yellow and red. Fly over the blue Columbia River under blue skies, getting a new perspective of familiar sights.

When you land at the winery, go inside the tasting room for a wine tasting or into the restaurant for a meal — or do both! Your pilot will wait up to 2 hours while you enjoy the hospitality of the winery staff.

Afterwards, you’ll head back to Wenatchee Pangborn Airport by a different route with different scenery to complete your trip.

Special Offer: Book and complete your flight before October 25 and take $75 off the normal price.

Learn more about our wine-tasting tours.

This offer expires at 11:59pm on Saturday October 15th, 2016.

Be Spontaneous Special: Cave B Breakfast Trip

Flying M Air will be flying down to Cave B on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 to for a pair of photo flights in the area. Our scenic flight takes us down the Columbia River past the Rock Island Dam, the site of Spanish Castle, Crescent Bar, and the Gorge Amphitheater. Our return flight takes us over Potholes Coulee and Quincy Lakes.

Crescent Bar

Why not fly down from Wenatchee with us? We’ll be departing Wenatchee Pangborn Memorial Airport at 8:30 AM sharp. While we’re taking care of our photo flights, you can visit Cave B’s excellent restaurant, Tendril, for a delicious breakfast overlooking the Columbia River near the Gorge Amphitheater. Just be back at the helicopter by 10:30 for the return flight.

Be Spontaneous and Save!

This is a “be spontaneous” offer for this date only. Normally, this flight would cost $545. But with this offer, you can save 50% — that makes it only $272.50. This price covers round trip transportation for up to 3 passengers. Total passenger weight cannot exceed 600 pounds. It does not include the cost of your meal, should you decide to dine at Tendril. (Note that Cave B’s tasting room will be closed during our morning visit.)

What are you waiting for? There’s only one flight available at this price. Book it now.


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This offer expires at 6:00pm on Tuesday August 16th, 2016.

July 2 Tours from Cave B

Coming to Cave B on Saturday? Add a helicopter tour to your day!

ancientlakes

Flying M Air is pleased to be offering 15-minute helicopter tours from Cave B Estate Winery & Resort on Saturday, July 2, 2016 from 11 AM to 5 PM. The tours are priced at $75/person with a 2 person minimum per flight. We can take up to 3 people per flight but weight limits apply; total passenger weight cannot exceed 600 pounds.

Although you can pay for your flight onsite by cash or credit card, you can also reserve a flight by buying tickets online. Availability is limited for this event, so sign up now.

This offer expires at 5:00pm on Saturday July 2nd, 2016.